Camping For People Who Don’t Camp: My Airstream Adventure
By Maria Niles on September 02, 2014
As much as I love the beauty of nature, I have no love of roughing it in the great outdoors. As a child my mother would jokingly mention the idea of sending me on a “wilderness adventure” in order to toughen me up and help get me over my irrational fear of insects. One year in college, my roommates gifted me with a t-shirt that read: My idea of camping is when room service is late. Despite what I like to think is my relatively laid back, down-to-earth personality, when it comes to travel and vacationing I can be very much the princess and the pea. Fly me to a tropical resort and I’ll be a happy camper. Since I did it once as a Girl Scout, I know that sleeping on the ground in a tent does not take me to my happy place so the passion many I know have for it bewilders me. *cough* BlogHer Executive Editor, Julie Ross Godar. *cough*
I have always admired the style of Airstream travel trailers. Their sleek, modern lines appeal to my love of mid-century design from long before hipsters everywhere realized that their parents actually had great taste. It was no surprise then that when I was offered the chance to tour an airstream trailer that would be in my area for a week, I immediately said yes. The weird part came when the PR Rep for Airstream then inquired as to if I wanted to take it out for a camping spin and asked if I have a vehicle with a trailer hitch in order to tow it and then I said, “why yes, I would be very interested in camping with the Airstream!” Unfortunately, though, I don’t have a truck, just my hippy hybrid sedan, so I started scheming. But, the PR Rep quickly wrote back and offered to have it towed to a campsite so I could spend a night or two camping with the trailer. Challenge accepted!
And so it was that I found myself on a gorgeous Tuesday afternoon heading up to and driving over the Golden Gate Bridge (kicking myself for not leaving time to stop, pull over into the vista point and take pictures) on my way to the KOA campgrounds in Petaluma for my camping adventure.
I arrived at KOA a little earlier than the trailer so I took advantage of the extra time to drive the four short miles to Whole Foods to pick up some lunch and food for the rest of my stay. Suddenly, camping became much more appealing. I returned to meet my delightful new friend, Abe, the driver who delivered my Airstream (see how proprietary I quickly became?) in order to get a tour and introduction to the features of the trailer.
It was a 22-foot Sport Edition equipped with a kitchen (sink, stovetop, oven and fridge), bedroom, television, sitting area with a table, and a bathroom including a shower. My campsite came with Wi-Fi plus hookups to running water, sewage, power, propane, and, much to my amusement, cable television, though the trailer also has a built in antenna that you can raise and lower with a hand-crank. On the other side of the site there was a grassy area with leafy, mature trees, a picnic table, a bench swing and a fire pit. If I had known how to light the firewood, and had I been prepared with the right equipment, I could have reached out to Julie for some camping cooking recipes. Sadly, even though there were long skewers in the trailer, and I could have easily picked up the supplies either at a nearby grocery or at the KOA store, S’mores were not to happen on this trip.
Nevertheless I immediately fell in love with hanging out in the Airstream and told friends on social media that I wanted one to put in my backyard and use as my office. That afternoon and evening I toured around the KOA campgrounds, met some of my “neighbors,” checked out the petting farm, watched horses, mules and cows on nearby farms, saw a large peacock casually stroll across the road, sat on the bench swing for a spell as the sun set and I watched kids play and roaring fires come to life. My TV wasn’t hooked up to the cable system and I couldn’t get any reception even with the antenna raised (one neighbor I saw ingeniously set up a large satellite dish on a tripod outside his RV), so I took advantage of the nighttime quiet to read a book and go to bed at an early-for-me hour.
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